|On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued The Emancipation Proclamation:
“That on the 1st day of January, in the year of our Lord 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. . . And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”
With these words President Lincoln ended slavery – a flagrant violation of the institutions of the United States of America, “a government of, by and for all the people.”
The institution of slavery denied essential freedoms to fellow Americans. Today, in 2009, another freedom is being denied to every man, woman and child — freedom of health care. Some in the HMO industry, many in the insurance industry, and many federal “Big Government” bureaucrats are denying Americans their freedom of health care. The Obama Health Care Plan is the instruction manual and play book for this mandate.
These “Masters” of Health Care are trying to deny individuals the freedom to choose what doctor you can see, what medicine you can take, what hospital you can go to, and how you spend your health care dollars. They even take it a step further in the Obama Health Care Plan, determining – IF – yes, IF you can be treated. These “Masters” of Health Care are driving us to unnecessary pain, suffering, and, in some cases, death.
We can all agree that the US health care system needs drastic reform, but not at the cost of destroying the entire system. We face a defining crossroads, as we as a nation decide the face of this reform. If we really want to improve the system, reform must be based upon the bedrock of providing each person, family and business fundamental healthcare freedom.
Transparency — or Hidden Agenda of Governmental Control
A closer review of The two-part Obama Health Care Plan shows that the first part of his Plan was buried in the stimulus bill, and the second part is currently being debated in Congress. Unfortunately, the foundation of ObamaCare does not make health care more affordable and available, but rather promotes inefficient government control, long lines, rationing, and denial of health care – backed and enforced by penalties, punishments and taxation.
The first part of Obama’s Plan, already passed into law in the stimulus bill, dictates that doctors and hospitals will be overseen and reviewed by the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. This “Coordinator,” an anointed bureaucrat, will “guide medical decisions at the time and place of care,” and will be responsible for monitoring treatments to make sure doctors and hospitals are strictly following the government’s pre-determined mandates (Stimulus Bill, p. 116; see also pp. 442, 446). This sounds suspiciously like practicing medicine without a license, a crime in almost every state.
What happened to doctor/patient confidentiality? What happened to H.I.P.P.A.’s mandate and philosophy that no one outside the doctor’s office should be able to access, to see or to monitor your patient records? Big Brother will definitely be watching you, and will also tell you what treatments you can and cannot have.
The stimulus bill goes on to say that hospitals and doctors that are NOT “meaningful users” of the new electronic systems will face penalties. The Secretary of Health and Human Services will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time.” (Stimulus Bill pp. 366, 478, 511, 518, 540, 541.) According to those in Congress, penalties could include large six figure financial fines and possible imprisonment for NOT following government protocols. It is one way to fund the new system, but a self-defeating one. According to the Obama Plan, if your doctor saves your life but breaks government protocol, you might have to go to the prison to see your doctor for follow-up! It is therefore NOT surprising that a recent Investor’s Business Daily Survey revealed 45% of physicians currently in practice reported they would leave the field of medicine it this legislation is implemented. This potential reduction in health care providers does not bode well for the ability of Obama’s Plan to make health care available to everyone, or at least everyone the government deems “worthy.”
“No Additional Taxes” = Mandates and Escalating Penalties
As outrageous and over-the-top as this seems, the penalties and punishments are NOT limited to providers. Every American becomes a target with this plan. If an individual declines to buy insurance (at a price to be determined by the government), he/she will be fined $1900 for not buying the insurance. The penalties for this “non-tax” escalate. Politico.com has reported on the explanation of additional penalties on individuals by The Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation:
“Sen. John Ensign received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.
Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it ‘Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold.’ “
If any American chooses NOT to have coverage, as millions currently do, then they will be fined. If they do NOT pay the fine then they will penalized $25,000 or ‘Go To Jail’…..Go directly to jail without passing Go.
But the penalties, taxes and punishments do not stop there. In fact, President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid do NOT want you to consider the taxes really to be taxes. On page 203 of the health care bill (the one that is currently available to the public) it is stated, “The tax imposed under this section shall NOT be treated as a tax imposed.” I kid you not…..how dumb do they think we are?
While out of one side of his mouth President Obama claims there will not be an increase in “taxes,” it has also been reported that a provision to tax medical appliances has been proposed to partially fund the health care plan.
The Senate recently exempted medical items that cost under $100 — such as tampons and condoms. But the tax, expected to raise about $40 billion over the next decade, is still in the bill and includes items like:
- Hip joint replacements
- Gastrointestinal tubes
- Artificial hearts
- Hearing aids
- Porcelain teeth
- Heart defibrillators
- Prosthetic heart valve rotators
- Powered wheelchairs
The Medical Device Manufacturer’s Association said that the tax would hurt them, as well as those who need medical devices.
Rationing and Denying Access to Health Care
If that is NOT enough, there is the final penalty, DEATH. The core and the heart of The Obama, Pelosi, Reid and Democrat majority Plan is to cut costs by one of the more inhumane and unethical means, denying and rationing care. This method of rationing and denying care in other countries has lead to premature deaths. In a Supreme Court of Canada decision in Chaoulli v. Quebec in June of 2005, the Chief Justice and Justice Major noted that the evidence adduced in the lower courts established beyond doubt that many Quebec residents face significant delays in obtaining treatment in the public health care system resulting in adverse physical and psychological consequences:
“Access to a waiting list is not access to health care….[T]here is unchallenged evidence that in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care. Where lack of timely health care can result in death, Section 7 protection of life itself is engaged.”
The rationing of care in the Two Part Obama Health Care Plan is implemented through a Council, equivalent to the National Health Care Board in the British Health Care System. The name given to this panel is The Federal Coordinating Council For Comparative Effectiveness Research (“Federal Council”). (Section 9201 H.R. 1 Version of the Stimulus Bill.)
President Obama has already appointed the fifteen-member Federal Council. According to the Stimulus Bill, p. 152, all members of the Council must be “senior federal officers or employees.” Thus, medical treatment will be dispensed by a group of bureaucrats from their ivory towers, not by the hands-on practitioners in the presence of the patients. The council was funded with $1.1 BILLION from the stimulus bill.
It becomes evident that the Obama health Care plan as advanced by Pelosi, Reid and the Democrat majority in the House and Senate is NOT about bringing affordability and availability to the health care system. This insidious Plan is about wresting control of every American’s life and death through penalties, punishments, taxes and coercion.
When I became a physician I took an Oath to “Do No Harm”. This legislation inflicts HARM on every American and must be stopped and the health care portion of the stimulus bill must be repealed. If not, you and your family will become shackled to the Federal Government.